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TheStreet Open House

10 Used Cars to Check Out Before Buying New

10. Ford Escape
Trim: XLT four-door
Original MSRP: $23,935
KBB private party value: $5,735
Retained value: 24%
Get ready to see a whole bunch of small SUVs/crossovers on this list. The decade-old parentmobiles of choice are dominant in reliability and resale value, with the Escape being no exception.

The Escape's XLT package, however, is a fine example of how a loaded used car offers more value than a stripped-down newer model. The top-of-the-line XLT bumps drivers from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to a 3.0-liter V6 that's a beast in its class at 201 horsepower and can tow up to 3,500 pounds. That trim also comes with privacy glass and a six-disc CD changer, which admittedly hasn't aged so well as an amenity.

Its fuel economy isn't so hot at a combined 20 miles per gallon, but it can seat five people more comfortably than its smaller competitors from Honda and Toyota. It also offers 65 cubic feet of cargo room with the seat down.

The Detroit Three didn't make much of an impact with their 2002 offerings, especially considering KBB's list is devoid of General Motors (GM) and Chrysler offerings, but Ford still had a few models that could stand the test of time. Its now-discontinued Crown Victoria sedan joined the Escape on this list by retaining 19% of its value for vehicles with the LX package.

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